How to fix a PC whose Bluetooth wont detect / connect to other devices


How to fix a PC whose Bluetooth wont detect / connect to other devices

In our previous guide on Windows PC radio issues & fixes, we discussed How to fix Wi-Fi disabled by Windows Mobility Center (see https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-fix-wi-fi-disabled-by-windows-mobility-center/ ) . In this guide, we’ll be looking at a common Bluetooth headache; which is problems detecting or connecting to other Bluetooth devices. We’ll be discussing common causes and working fixes to apply when experiencing such.

What could cause a Windows PC’s Bluetooth not to detect or connect to other Bluetooth devices?

When faced with Bluetooth detection or connection problems, possible causes are:



  • Bluetooth is not on: Its possible the PC’s Bluetooth is off
  • Too many paired devices: The PC or other Bluetooth device might have too many devices on its paired list
  • Bluetooth is set to hidden:  The PC’s Bluetooth might have been set to hidden / stealth mode
  • Devices aren’t paired: The devices need to be paired for a transfer to occur
  • Bluetooth Connection notification is off: You might not get a Bluetooth connection request if connection alert is disabled
  • PC doesn’t support Bluetooth: Check the PC’s specifications to be sure it supports Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth driver problems: The PC’s Bluetooth drivers might be missing, corrupted or outdated
  • Damaged Bluetooth radio: The Bluetooth radio might have encountered a hardware problem
  • Out of range: Proximity is very important in Bluetooth communication. Ensure the devices are within detection range
  • Wrong Bluetooth connection mode: Its possible the Bluetooth isn’t set to Send or Receive mode as appropriate

How do I fix a PC whose Bluetooth wont detect / connect to other devices?

Some fixes to consider include:

  • Bluetooth capability: Check to be sure the PC supports the appropriate Bluetooth Technology
  • Delete unused paired devices: Locate the paired devices both on the PC (Start menu > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Bluetooth devices) and the other Bluetooth device then delete unused paired devices
  • Ensure Bluetooth is set to ON: Using the Start menu, Search for Bluetooth > Under Wireless communication, ensure Bluetooth is set to ON
  • Proximity: Ensure the devices are near enough to each other
  • Run the Bluetooth hardware and devices troubleshooter tool
  • Ensure the devices are paired: Click on Start menu > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Bluetooth devices > Add a device > Select the target device once listed > Follow the wizard and type the Passcode if prompted
  • Delete then re-pair the Bluetooth device: Click on Start menu > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Bluetooth devices > Select the device with is not working > Remove > Re-pair
  • Set Bluetooth to discoverable: Start menu > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Bluetooth devices > Select Options > Tick the box in front of Allow Bluetooth devices to find this computer
  • Set Connection alert to active: Go to the system tray (bottom right corner) > Start menu > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Bluetooth devices > Select Options > Tick the box in front of Alert me when a new Bluetooth device wants to connect
  • Restart the PC: The PC might have encountered a minor error. consider restarting to clear such errors (see https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-fix-a-slow-hanging-or-crashing-pc/ )
  • Enable the appropriate file transfer mode: Set Bluetooth to Send file if you wish to send and Receive file if you wish to receive. To do this, go to the system tray (bottom right corner) > Right-click the Bluetooth icon
  • Install Bluetooth drivers: Download the Bluetooth driver for the exact PC model then install (if you encounter problems after installing drivers then read https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-do-a-system-restore-on-a-pc/ ).
  • Uninstall then re-install Bluetooth drivers: Go to Device Manager > Click View at the top > Show hidden devices > Expand Bluetooth radios > Right-click each Bluetooth radio and select Uninstall > Click Ok > Click Action at the top > Scan for hardware changes
  • If all these fail then it might be a hardware issue; consider re-installing the OS to confirm this (see https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-install-windows-7-with-and-without-the-operating-system-cd-dvd/ )

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5 Comments

  1. Its hp 2000

    • I dont think HP 2000 has bluetooth integrated. It supports Bluetooth but doesn’t have. You might need to use an external bluetooth USB stick.

  2. Thanks for your article. Saved my life.

  3. Please where can i get the bluetooth driver? The pc is runing windows 8

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